I have never been so uncomfortable in my whole life as when I moved out to Wyoming.
Nor have I ever been so exhilarated.
I left my entire life behind. I heard those ghosts– you know, of loved ones who have passed–whispering in my ear, reminding me that if I’m not living the life I want, I should have the courage to change it. Back in my hometown, at age twenty-five, I was twiddling my thumbs at my desk job, dreaming about far away places that I hoped to visit before I got too old and bony and fragile. When you’re wasting away thinking about all the things you could be doing, sometimes it could be best to throw it all away and just go for it. I might go broke, I might be lonely, or scared. But it’s better than hearing those ghosts whispering to me that they wish I was living my life better. Knowing that some people are dead and don’t have the capability of experiencing any more adventures. And yet here I was with this precious life.
So I moved to a wild country and I met people as wild as the mountains they attempted to climb and conquer. During the first two weeks I was out here, I didn’t know anyone except for one of my best friends, Kira. While I was (and am!) incredibly lucky to have her out here, for a while I felt extraordinarily lonely and homesick. Then, one day I made the somewhat scary decision to go out into town alone and just see what happens. Coming from the Northeast and having spent several formative years in Philadelphia, going out alone in hopes of meeting new people was a totally foreign concept to me. I would actively avoid all contact with strangers. But, when I decided to venture out alone here…lo and behold! I blossomed. I was immediately surrounded by several interesting and lovely people. I was in a state of bliss. After that experience and getting more comfortable and confident, I began to feel as though I understood why I came out to Wyoming. Here was this pristine landscape in a small town filled with friendly people. Friendlier than back East, anyway. My journey out here was validated. I had travelled all this way with my ghosts and demons, and when I reached Wyoming, I felt cleansed and liberated.
I thought for sure that I needed to chase that feeling. Maybe there was something about this town that made sense to the happiness part of my brain, a part that I had struggled to jump-start over the years. When I came out here and fully embraced it, I really felt like I was on to something.
However, I was not (and am not) totally comfortable or familiar with these feelings. I talked to several close friends about how delighted I was, but I would follow these thoughts with, “I keep waiting for it to come crashing down.” I kept waiting for my bubble to burst. I kept waiting for the comedown off of what felt like an alien, almost drug-induced state of happiness. I wondered, how long can this possibly last. I kept waiting for something like a phone call bearing bad news. I kept waiting to have my heart broken, etc.
But, sometimes you have to let go.
I have to recognize that the last five years I had been living in a hole of anxiety and depression. It was a hole I was slowly but surely climbing out of, but a hole nonetheless. I moved to these wild and wonderful lands and met all these fantastic people in hopes that I could put some of those haunted feelings to rest. Alas, it’s difficult to escape the anxiety. I am still nervously waiting, but maybe it gets better. At least I am able to feel moments of pure joy in between those flashes of anxiety.
I don’t know. Maybe this is a time and a place where I am able to deal with disappointment more easily. Maybe I’m evolving, and it’s easier to relax and let go.
I’ve been out here for about two months and I’m not sure what this roller coaster of emotions means. I don’t know if this is the right place for me, or if the feelings of peace I have found will last. This new town and new state could very well be a wonderful haven, at least for a little while longer. But, it’s so easy to feel like I’m overstaying my welcome. It’s hard to draw a line and make distinctions, especially when I had isolated myself for so long. Sometimes I think, maybe it’s best not to get too excited. When I get excited, I do spontaneous things and I try to make that feeling last forever but it probably can’t. Maybe trying to stick it out here is a huge mistake and is ultimately building castles made of sand. Maybe not. I never know what’s waiting for me at the other of a day or week or month or summer. It could be a jackpot of precious memories, or it could be a couple of burned bridges. Or maybe a mix of the two.
I am here in Wyoming for now. I truly don’t know where I belong, but eventually I’m going to have to make a decision. Should I tough it out here, extend my stay a bit, or go back home to my comfort zone? I don’t know that either choice is right or wrong.
There will always be uncertainty no matter what I do or where I go. All I can do is remind myself that there’s a lesson to be learned in each and every twist and turn in my life.